To most Americans, defunding the police sounds wrong. They worry about what will happen when they make a 911 call in the middle of the night. Taking resources away from the police is dangerous.
This worry is only made worse by the statements of radical defunders who claim that concerns about being robbed or assaulted are an expression of so-called white privilege.
Thus, the defunders often soften their appeal to convince the moderates. They claim that the defunding will not endanger community safety. The funds will simply be redirected to social and mental health workers and community organizations that are more qualified to deal with the social problems police face.
The Limitations of Police
Indeed, the police are frequently sent in to deal with problems that are not their natural responsibility. They cannot address the root causes of mental illness, homelessness, drug addiction or domestic violence that cause so much crime. All they can do is.
However, this is no reason for defunding the police. Over the decades, police have engaged in damage control as more and more broken and dangerous individuals are thrust into the streets that easily become war zones. They are forced to shoulder the problems and burdens that no one wants to address. Then they are criticized and attacked when things go wrong.
Community Soviets to Replace the Police?
Defunders want their rethinking of the police to reflect a new strategy. They want to send vast postmodern armies of social workers and mental health professionals that will descend upon the nation’s devastated inner cities.
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These enlightened and unarmed specialists are supposed to come to the rescue with a kinder, gentler approach. College-educated first responders will be trained in mediation, social work and social services. “Community-led” organizations (please read “soviets,” as that is what they will become) will supposedly develop programs to confront violence and so-called systemic racism.
In this way, the underlying causes of the problems will be addressed, and communities will develop in peace and harmony.
The Limitations of Social Workers
At least, this is the theory. There are two problems with this utopian approach and why defunding the police is wrong.
The first problem is that this new approach is not new. America is already filled with legions of social workers who try to help needy individuals. It is unclear how the new proposal differs from the programs already in place.
Moreover, America has spent trillions of dollars on these welfare programs over the decades. It has very little to show for this monumental effort and expense. These wrongheaded programs have not regenerated society. On the contrary, they have even helped perpetuate problems. They have created massive bureaucracies that lack all the human elements and leadership needed to effect real and lasting social change.
Likewise, there is nothing new about mental health treatment. However, so-called experts have discharged countless mental health inmates from asylums over the years, dumping them onto American city streets. Sending counselors to meet with them cannot replace the need for the abandoned institutional care.
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None of the defunders proposes proven methods that have worked in communities. There is no plan, save that of defunding police. Their vague program only foresees the redirecting of funds. It will most likely funnel money into leftist causes and activism.
Fight the Causes Not the Effects
The second problem with the defunding is that it will not address the root causes of the issues people face. Sending in professionals will only treat the symptoms of mental illness, drug addictions and violence. It will not address the profound reasons why a person is addicted or mentally unbalanced.
All these behavioral problems involve the moral decisions of individuals. When people lack moral guidance, they develop the toxic and abusive habits that harm themselves and all society.
Just as the police cannot solve grave moral and mental problems, social workers are also limited by the time and effort they can spend. The root causes involve difficult moral decisions that must be made by the broken individuals themselves, not social workers. Action must be taken before people become criminals, not after.
The Need for National Social Institutions
The only way to provide moral formation is through those natural social institutions that link people to society. The most important institution is the family.
Everyone knows the individual’s best path to physical, mental and spiritual health is to belong to a stable family with a father and mother. Much more than the nuclear family, the extended one is the real solution. Families need grandparents, uncles, first and second cousins, nephews, in-laws, family friends, and stability of place for the family residence over multiple generations. They then sink deep roots into the community.
Eternal and Natural Law: The Foundation of Morals and Law
Where broken and fatherless families prevail, there is a proliferation of mental issues, addictions and violence. Communities of stable extended families lead to a healthy, vibrant, and stable society without major crime.
Community institutions, schools and places of employment provide less formation but also serve as additional safety nets preventing the social problems that lead to crime.
Finally, the Church teaches that families must live morally. She is the interpreter of the natural law. The observance of her teaching about an eternal reward and punishment after death keep the faithful away from grave sin. Sacraments and devotions help family members to live in virtue with the help of grace. The Church’s inexhaustible charity helps neighbors love one another in true Christian solidarity.
When the extended family and all these social institutions work together to teach sound morals, there is a solid foundation for a society that lives in peace and justice.
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The problem today is that these institutions are in ruins, and society is coming apart.
America needs moral restoration. Without it, society just goes from bad to worse, chasing disaster-leading utopias like defunding the police and redirecting funds to leftist groups that hate and subvert the traditional family.
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Trying to solve the problem of policing without moral regeneration and the rebuilding of our families, communities and Church is an exercise in futility. There is only one way back home, and it starts with a return to order.